By living in what is considered to be the heart of the Indo-Trinidadian-Guyanese community in Lefferts/Liberty avenues on the border of Brooklyn and Queens, locally referred to as “Bollywood,” Diane Walkes, the band leader of New Horizon, says it was compelling to name her production after the Indian film industry.
Walkes, a San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago native, said each of the 10 sections of “Here Comes Bollywood”, of which half is for children, comprises at least 10 masqueraders.
Both children and adult sections carry the same name: Duhna, India, Bollywood, Kahna/Sari and Belly Dancers.
Walkes said masqueraders in “Here Comes Bollywood” come from “all over the world,” including Canada, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Lucia, Guyana, and Jamaica, adding that New Horizon “caters for everyone.”
“We don’t turn anyone away, and it’s just to show how much we love our culture and to never forget where we came from,” she said.
Walkes said her daughter, Marina Lewis, and Neval “Scara” Martin are assisting in this year’s production, disclosing that New Horizon also conducts workshops in teaching the youth about their heritage and how to make costumes.
She said the mas band was called Malitia when it was formed in 1999, but changed its name to Gemini Production two years later. The name was further changed to New Horizon last year.
Walkes said she got interested in mas at a very early age with her uncle, Rodrick Snell’s involvement.
“I used to travel to and from Trinidad & Tobago to play with him,” she said. “So I grow up around carnival. Then he created the Flatbush fair, downtown Brooklyn. That’s when I realized I wanted to bring out my own band.”
DJs St. Lucian-born “Verstaile Soundz” and Trinidadian-born “Madbomber the Protégé” will supply music for masqueraders, Walkes said.
The mas camp is located on 567 Rogers Ave., between Hawthorne Avenue and Fenimore Street in Brooklyn.
For more information, call Walkes at (347) 585-9903, (845) 542-4711, or (718) 277-4909; or go to newhorizonintl.webs.com.